Fixture: (7) Andrey Rublev vs (20) Taylor Fritz
Date: 19 March 2022.
Tournament: BNP Paribas Open.
Venue: Indian Wells, California, USA.
Category: ATP Masters 1000.
Prize money: $8,584,055.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India - Voot.
Andrey Rublev vs Taylor Fritz preview
Seventh seed Andrey Rublev will take on 20th seed Taylor Fritz in the semifinals of the Indian Wells Masters on Saturday.
The Russian did not have the best of starts to 2022 as he was eliminated in the third round of the Australian Open, losing to Marin Cilic. He followed this up by reaching the semifinals of the Rotterdam Open before being beaten by eventual champion Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Rublev avenged this defeat by beating the Canadian in the final of the Open 13 to win his first title of the year. The Russian then competed at the Dubai Tennis Championships and reached the final after hard-fought victories over Dan Evans, Kwon Soon-woo, Mackenzie McDonald and Hubert Hurkacz. He then beat Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-4 to win his second title of 2022.
The 24-year-old entered the Indian Wells Masters as the seventh seed and reached the semifinals following straight-sets victories over Dominik Koepfer, Frances Tiafoe, Hubert Hurkacz and Grigor Dimitrov.
Fritz started the year with a decent display at the ATP Cup where he beat Felix Auger-Aliassime and Cameron Norrie. The American reached the fourth round of the Australian Open before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in an arduous five-setter.
Fritz was the top seed at the Dallas Open and reached the quarterfinals before losing to seventh seed Marcos Giron. The 24-year-old was seeded seventh at the Mexican Open and reached the second round before being shocked by Yoshihito Nishioka.
Fritz began his Indian Wells campaign with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-1 victory against Kamil Majchrzak. He then fought off Jaume Munar, Alex de Minaur and Miomir Kecmanovic to reach the semifinals for the second straight year.
Andrey Rublev vs Taylor Fritz head-to-head
Saturday's match at Indian Wells will be the fifth between the two players, with their head-to-head currently tied at 2-2. Fritz beat Rublev when they met for the first time at the 2018 Indian Wells Masters.
The Russian won the following two fixtures in the Next Gen ATP Finals and the Dubai Tennis Championships. Fritz then beat him in the Paris Masters last year. The winner of the match will face either Rafael Nadal or Carlos Alcaraz in the final of the Indian Wells Masters.
Andrey Rublev vs Taylor Fritz prediction
Rublev will enter the match as the heavy favorite, given his quality and recent run of form. The Russian has won 18 out of 20 matches so far this season and is currently on a 13-match winning streak.
Fritz has also produced some promising performances this year.While the American is yet to beat a player ranked higher than him in Indian Wells, he has beaten top players like Auger-Aliassime, Norrie and Roberto Bautista Agut this season.
Rublev is a pretty good server, but his key weapon is his powerful forehand. The Russian's mentality has gotten stronger over the years and that will be useful at this stage of the competition.
Fritz has served 47 aces at the Indian Wells Masters so far and he will back himself to serve a few more against Rublev. The American will also look to his forehand for winners.
Both players have had a good run in the desert, but Rublev should be able to get the better of Fritz and reach his third final of 2022.
Prediction: Rublev to win in three sets.